Daily Humble Repentance

January 23, 2023
Monday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time
Readings for Today

 Saint Vincent, Deacon and Martyr—Optional Memorial
(Celebrated January 23 in the USA)

Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children—USA Memorial
(Moved to January 23 when January 22 is a Sunday)

Saint Marianne Cope, Virgin—USA Optional Memorial

Video

The scribes who had come from Jerusalem said of Jesus, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “By the prince of demons he drives out demons.” Mark 3:22

By this time, Jesus was fully engaged in His public ministry. He had healed the sick and lame, cast out many demons, called the Twelve Apostles and given them authority over evil spirits, and preached the Good News to many. Just prior to this Gospel passage, some of Jesus’ own extended family had criticized Him, claiming that Jesus was out of His mind. Then the scribes began their public condemnation of our Lord.

The scribes were faced with a dilemma. They saw Jesus cast out demons from those who were possessed, so they needed to come up with an explanation. They concluded that Jesus was able to cast out demons by the power of the prince of demons. Jesus goes on to address the scribes’ criticism by identifying their condemnation as a sin against the Holy Spirit. Jesus explains that every sin can be forgiven except the sin against the Holy Spirit. He says that “whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an everlasting sin.” Why is that?

In this case, the sin against the Holy Spirit is not only the false condemnation spoken by the scribes against Jesus. First and foremost, their sin is one of obstinacy. They spoke falsely about our Lord, which is a grave sin, but what’s worse is that they did so in such a way that they remained firmly grounded in their error. They refused to humble themselves and reconsider their error. And it is this stubbornness that leaves them with an “everlasting sin.”

Perhaps the most important lesson we can learn from this passage is that we must avoid remaining stuck in our pride in an obstinate way. We must always be humble and be ready and willing to reexamine our actions. Humility will help us to perpetually remember that we can easily become misled in life. And though this will happen from time to time in various ways, if we remain humble and open to change, then we can always receive the mercy of God and find forgiveness. But if we are prideful and continually refuse to admit our errors, then we are also potentially guilty of a sin against the Holy Spirit.

Reflect, today, upon any tendency you have in your life to be stubborn. Stubbornness can be a virtue when the stubbornness is an unwavering commitment to the Gospel and to the will of God. However, you must always intentionally reexamine the path you are on so that you can change when that path begins to deviate from the Truth of God. Humble yourself this day and allow God’s voice to lead you back from any errors with which you now struggle.

My merciful Jesus, I sin every day and will continue to fail to follow You with perfection. For this reason, I thank You for Your abundant mercy. Please help me to always be open to that mercy by regularly re-examining my decisions in life. Give me humility, dear Lord, to always repent and to turn back to You when I stray. Jesus, I trust in You.

9 Days for Life Novena
January 19–27

Day five: January 23

More Gospel Reflections

Divine Mercy Reflections

All Saints/Feasts

Further Reading –

 Saint Vincent, Deacon and Martyr
(Celebrated January 23 in the USA)

Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children
(Moved to January 23 when January 22 is a Sunday)

Saint Marianne Cope, Virgin

Mass Reading Options

Featured image above: he Pharisees and the Sadducees Come to Tempt Jesus, by James Tissot, via Wikimedia Commons

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